Sunday, July 27, 2008

Never been so happy to make money.

Following last weeks title, given the events that ended an hour ago, this is by far the most appropriate title I could think of. I WON! For so long now, literally 3 or 4 years, I've never won a multi table tournament, until today. The only disappointing part was the buy-in wasn't as big as the event I made the final table in last week. But I'm playing to win, and winning at this level brings me closer to the next one. It's NOT about the money, it's about learning, growing and succeeding. I've really learned this month that money is only a byproduct of success, it is not the fundamental focus.

Have played this particular game several times before, even had a 7th once, I had a fair idea how I would play it. I was fortunate enough in the early rounds to just keep catching cards and connecting with flops. I remember I was 5th in chips after about 10 minutes, and I never dropped out of the top 10 for the entire tournament. This tournament is unique in the fact that the blinds increase every 5 minutes forcing more action than a usual tournament. Given the solid start I had that set me up to play a more solid game in the later stages.

I was fortunate enough to be joined by Dr.G in this game aswell who finished a respectable 31st, congratulations sir. It was great to have some advice from a mate who had a good understanding of the game I was in at the time.

As I do enjoy pictures rather than words, in this case videos, to complete my story I'm attaching the hands that made the result I achieved.

The fold that probably won me the tournament.

I wanted to call so much, it was actually a really hard lay down for me to make. It was really due to Dr.G highly recommending (almost jabbing me) to fold this. I felt I had the hand all the way, but the K of diamonds dropping on the river was the worst card I could have seen. Did he have the K? Did he hit runner runner to backdoor a flush? Or was he just bluffing me? I'll never know. Fortunately now, it doesn't matter.

The shift of power.

With the opponent I had heads up, all I had to do was connect with a flop and chips would be mine. I knew this from watching him the whole game. If I hit a flop, I'd get paid out like the jackpot on a pokie machine, it was just about timing when to pull the trigger.

Who said you need the nuts to win a tournament?

What a way to end, winning with Q high. You can only laugh. This hand was the very next one after "The shift in power" and I knew he was on serious tilt and going to make moves against me regardless of his cards. All I wanted was a decent enough holding and I was going for it, especially since I had the chip lead on him. It did manage to scare the crap out of me. He turned his cards and the first thing I thought was "he's only got 3 outs". On the flop he gets a gut-shot straight draw. On the turn he gets and open ended straight draw. But lucky for me he drowned at the river.

My personal favorite.

This hand was by far the best hand I felt I played. Whilst the video shows no pauses, I felt, I knew, he didn't hit the flop and I had him. Admittedly, my pre flop raise may have been loose, but his plays for the past 10-15 minutes prior to his hand, I knew justified me calling him with A 5 off. Once that flop came and I connected I knew how much he'd lead out with and I knew I'd come over the top. I honestly didn't expect him to call, but he did, and I got another 15,000 for it. I don't normally have the guts to make calls like that, maybe that's why I've never won before.

So how much money did I make? It matters not! I outlasted every player in the tournament that entered. Being at the state is by far the greatest accomplishment I can ask for. From 10 cents I created $8.50. An ROI of 8400%. Winning today, I feel, is my greatest success to date. The monkeys off my back. I know I can do it and I look forward to doing it again, many times over.

I hope you all enjoyed this update as I enjoyed writing it. I now have 6 days left until the month end reconciliation and it's looking better and better.
Good luck at the tables.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Never been so upset to make money.

I entered the same game today as last week. $5.50 with 1464 players. Overall was very pleased with my result but, I'd have loved to have won the whole game. For the first hour played very solid, had a couple of loose plays that looking back I shouldn't have done but overall it was pretty much ABC poker. Into the second hour, pretty much continued my strategy from the first hour, tight tight tight. Once I was about 100 off the money, I had a feeling that I would cash in the event. I did manage to make it into the top 243 where the money got paid, then I just focused on climbing the ladder so to speak. Before I knew what was going on there were 70 players left. At this point I knew I'd have a final; table day today.

What shocked me so much was into the 4th hour. In the first hour, it's not uncommon for over 50% of the field to be eliminated, based of this game that's over 700 people in 1 hour. But in the 4th hour, I think it was about 7 players that got eliminated. I couldn't believe it, it was easily the most intense hour of poker I've encountered. Every hand, every decision was for my tournament life and I couldn't be wrong, not even once.

Once the 5th hour started it was the final 14. There was a pay-rise once 14th got knocked out. There was one pivotal hand that stuck in my memory in these late stages. Dealt AsQd on the button, the 2nd player to act made a standard raise of 3xbb, he had been doing it quite often and AQ was the best hand I'd seen in a while. Running with my gut feeling I decided to put him to the test, knowing full well he has me covered in chips and if I lose I'm 14th which is 1 off the next pay bracket. I have no regrets with the hand even if it turned out a different way. I felt I'd have a coin flip and at these stages late in a tounrey, everyone must take a coin flip once in a while.

Fortunately I crippled him and he was out 14th a few hands later. Once I saw this happen, I knew I'd make the final table.

Final table. What a feeling. minimum I'd profit would be $90+ and first prize was over $1,300. After about 15 minutes of a very tight table and being the short stack I got my first decent holding, 1 away from the button with the table folding to me and here is what happened.

I never called for a 5 more in my life. No regrets. 6 hours turned a profit of over $90 or an ROI of 1643.64%. Not a bad day at the office. I'm just dying to see what I'm on for the month. We'll find out in 11 more days.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A story of todays multi torunament.

Starting on a positive note, I was able to play my first $5.50 MTT today. I know my BR at the start of the month was $228.40 so to play a $5.50 MTT, following my rule of at least 50 but-ins I needed a minimum BR of $275 to play. After a brief consultation with Dr.G last night the outcome was yes, I can afford to play it. Knowing that my BR must be greater than $275 this means I am up at least $47 for the month, not to bad 12 days into the month.

With an excited perspective to play at a level for first prize in over $1,000 I started fresh and was happy with my game. Unfortunately the cards didn't agree with me.

Below you will see 7 hands that will show the story of how I had the outcome I did.

Hand #1

Donkey calls a 5x pre flop raise with 6-4. What can you do? Suck it up and move on

Hand #2

Worried about having cursed jacks, I stuck to my guns knowing I have the 4th best hand pre flop and put my trust in the poker gods. Lucky for me someone decided to re-raise me with 10-5.

Hand #3

Nothing to cry about here - got in a coin flip and didn't win, that's cool. The only question is - should I have taken what I strongly felt was a coin flip at the 4th level of blinds. Given the opportunity to replay that hand another 100 times, I'd still call.

Hand #4

AJs under the gun. I froze for a while but given the fact that blinds were high and it was the first decent holding I'd had in a while I decided to take my stand. Almost fell over when the 10 hit the flop. Vindication was mine though when I rivered my flush.

Hand #5

The very next hand! Smelling a steal for 2 reasons. 1 I just doubled against this guy and 2 he had position on me I just felt it was a steal attempt to decided to put him in with my 6's. Fortunately the favorite before the flop held up.

Hand #6

AARRGGGHHHHHHH. Are you kidding me. Re-raises pre flop with 4-5 and flops the nut straight. I've had aces cracked before but that hand clearly sucked.

Hand #7

What can I say to this? Saw the flop - turn - river. Nothing threatening on the board, was sure I was about to triple up. Super cooler, nothing I can do. At least I got eliminated by a better hand than mine before the flop.

Overall finished 347th out of 1470 players (104 spots out of the money).

Lets try again next Saturday.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lets try ring games tonight.

After reading a very detailed and motivational post from Zach I felt like playing some ring games tonight, give myself a break from the SnG's. Overall am happy with the session. Played 6 tables for just over 1.5hrs (approx 600 hands) and ended up just over $8. Below I'm attaching some of the most memorable hands. Enjoy.

Bad beat of the night.

Biggest hand of the night.

I love donkeys.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Quads twice in a night

This just had to be shared with all. Enjoy, I certainly did.

How much have I made this July?

I have no idea! So far so good. As I promised myself, only collecting data on all games played and no reconciliation has been done so far. After a brief consultation with Dr.G, I've been assured that I'm in the black for the month. I had considered reconciling weekly to get an idea of where things are at but the doctors advise on that idea was "prognosis negative".

I must admit, since July 1, I've taken a greater enjoyment to the game which is something I feel I haven't had for qute some time. Possibly because last month and prior to that I was too concerned about how much I've made/lost and focusing on that. I'm taking each game as it comes, whether it's playing a single MTT or multiple SnG's. Every game has a fresh start. Every hand brings new possibilities. Concerned with that fact of how I've done for the month so far doesn't seem to be an issue.

At this rate all I can say is I'm enjoying hence succeeding and I can't wait to see the results at the end of the month.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Forget the money!

Last night it hit me! After playing 5 SnG's (3 losses & 2 wins) last night and having a break, a thought hit me like a ton of bricks. If I've decided to not have any type of monetary goal this month, then why bother following my money at all? Don't get me wrong I will still record every game I play and collect the same data that I always have been, just not focus on it. I currently have 4 spreadsheets to track my results:
1) Ring games
2) SnG's
3) Mtt's
4) Master spreadsheet

The Master spreadsheet collates all results from all the other spreadsheets to show daily/weekly/monthly results. I will still enter data in spreadsheets 1-3 as per usual but not reconcile until end of month.

I mainly thought of this because, last night after 5 games with 3 losses I was down $3 for the night. I couldn't stop focusing on the negative outcome. I've promised myself to get better and not think in those terms. So, if I don't reconcile nightly as I've done for the past 6 months, I won't know exactly what the monetary outcome was. I'll have an idea of whether I was up or down but won't focus on the cash result so much. I jumped back on and played 4 more games - 2 bubbles 1 3rd and 1 2nd. By not reconciling, I'm not focusing on money and only focusing on playing the best poker I can. I look forward to seeing the results at the end of the month.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What went wrong in June?

Was it the emphasis on a monetary goal? I think so. Not worried about playing A-grade poker and only concerned on making x per day proved my determent last month. After advise from several players, and a close mentor, Dr.G, it became obvious that focusing on making x per day playing playing x games just wont work. Focus on playing the best poker I can is the key, in turn the money will come.

I had 3 days that I can remember that damaged me the most. 2 days lost over $30 & 1 day lost $29. Taking such a hard hit made me only focus on making that back. Playing poker to make losses back was/is a huge mistake. So I suppose the main question is where do I go from here?

Due to a fortunate last couple weeks in the month, after my disgraceful losses early on, I ended up with a profit (.54%). From here, I'll take it day by day. The biggest learning experience I've ended up with is, if I have a bad run in one night, stop playing! So many times I'll play a session of multiple SnG's, lose and play again to make it back. I'm really going to enforce upon myself, if I have a bad run, tomorrow isn't that far away.

Tonight, let's see what it brings. My attitude is great, my development is better and my will to win is unstoppable. Forget about the money, playing the best I can will bring the money, focusing on the money will bring bad play.